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Wednesday Sisters (Wednesday #1)

3.49  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,551 Ratings  ·  1,992 Reviews
Friendship, loyalty, and love lie at the heart of Meg Waite Clayton's beautifully written, poignant, and sweeping novel of five women who, over the course of four decades, come to redefine what it meansto be family.
For thirty-five years, Frankie, Linda, Kath, Brett, and Ally have met every Wednesday at the park near their homes in Palo Alto, California. Defined when they
ebook, 315 pages
Published June 17th 2008 by Random House Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2008)
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Apr 03, 2013 Holli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came away from this book missing my great group of girlfriends I left behind in California. The ones who support me and encourage me....the ones I used to meet for coffee so we could discuss everything we needed to without the "guys" around. This book showed how easy it is for women to find some kind of common ground to bind them together. The women in this novel hadn't known each other forever when they met for the first time but by the end of the book they had become sisters in ...more
Here's what I believe: we need The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton.

Clayton's stories will help third- and fourth-wave feminists avoid political matricide. The pungent stench of fear and powerlessness that Clayton's characters face at critical junctures in their lives are--in a large part--history because of the work of second wave feminists.

I offer the following in a desperate attempt to convince high-school and college-aged women to read this scandalous book.* With their mothers. And the
Mar 12, 2009 Tera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-09
I really liked this book. It made me think of my best friends and the bond of friendship among women. Meg captures all of that beautifully. The other thing I really appreciated about this book is it wasn't a male bashing - woman's power sort of book. There are good men in it, great men and a crappy man. I am so sick of books that make women perfect and men the root of all evil. Loved that.
Ellen Keim
I wanted to like this book. It seemed to have all the ingredients that would attract someone like me: the book primarily takes place from 1967-1975 and I graduated from high school in 1970; the women meet to encourage each others' writing efforts and become friends in the process; and there is a lot in here about women juggling children, marriage and sometimes a career. But this was not a sweeping novel of five women's lives. The later years are rushed through and tacked on at the end. The women ...more
They're not sisters and they don't meet on Wednesdays,; not anymore. The Wednesday Sisters...Frankie, Allie, Linda, Kath and Brett...are five women who meet in the park in 1968. Strong, smart and talented, they grew up in the 1950s when women became wives and mothers, not realizing it was possible to do anything else. In the following decades, the women continue to meet and realize that they each have an interest in writing. They become a writing group, reading, critiquing and supporting each ot ...more
Oct 16, 2009 Janet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hated that the author spanned nearly 10 years -- presumably to fit in more historically-significant events? Unfortunately, I read The Help before reading this and loved how that author treated some of the same theme in a more compelling way. I struggled to find a theme I could latch on to and rally for in The Wednesday Sisters, and I suppose it's supposed to be feminism and sisterhood. I just wasn't feeling it. I might have loved the story if it wasn't written solely from Frannie's point of vi ...more
Sandy T
What drew me to this book was that I had read it was set in Palo Alto, California, my old stomping grounds. It was fun to read about familiar places: Stanford University, Stanford Mall, University Avenue, Winchester Mystery House, the Linear Accelerator, etc., and even Menlo Park, my home town...
The story is about 5 young mothers who meet in a park in the late sixties. They discover their shared love for reading and writing. They decide to meet once a week in the park to read and critique each o
Jul 16, 2009 Grace rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-in-2009
When I read the teaser on the inside jacket of this book, I thought I was about to embark on the great story of five women writers in the late 1960's and early 70s. What I got instead was five paper doll cut outs that were passed off as characters that were barely distinguishable from the next one as they crowded around their picnic bench talking about how nice their writing was while a housekeeper watched their passel of children for $1.60 an hour. All of the characters were flat. Two of these ...more
Anita Kelley Harris
I had high hopes for The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton. (Maybe I had such high hopes that I had raised the bar too high?) I had read somewhere that Ms. Clayton used to be a corporate transaction attorney at a large law firm. After she ceased practicing law, she wrote this book. As a lawyer and aspiring writer, I was drawn to it from that angle. Then there was the fact that the book is about a group of aspiring writers, who form a writing group and try to publish. That sounds like me, so ...more
Mar 19, 2011 Kathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book as a quick beach-read. There is no plot to this story; it reads as more of a memoir-style book. It had enough references to past pop-culture to make it relevant to me, but didn’t get bogged down in them…which kept the story moving along. However, I thought the character were unevenly developed. Revealing in some areas, but then not in others: really, it took 8 years of friendship for Brett to reveal her glove-secret? And really, none of her supposed friends would know or ask be ...more
Mari Anne
Dec 31, 2010 Mari Anne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Wednesday Sisters should be my kind of book. It's all about a group of women who meet regularly to critique each other's writing. Sounds like something I would love doesn't it? Well unfortuntately reading about writing is really dull. This book also seemed to strive too hard to become either a record of the feminist movement or a revival of it. I couldn't really tell which but either way the reader was beat over the head with the tenets of feminism in just about every chapter.

The writer als
Mar 10, 2015 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z-2015-read
This book appears to garner very mixed reviews, however it struck a chord with me. It has several themes occurring simultaneously and yet they complement each other as opposed to competing. The characters are unique and I found I wanted to be a part of their group. While I cried several times throughout the book, I found it uplifting. On a personal note, I found more understanding of what women experienced during that time period than I ever have before, all through their casual commentary on da ...more
The story was enjoyable, but there was far too much backstory. The main speaker jumped around a lot from past events, to referencing present times or what she knows now, then going back to the past event. It disrupted the story a lot; it probably would have been a more enjoyable read if it was straight-forward chronological.

There was also a bit too much history, and that took away from the story. I found myself getting caught up in the story, then the next chapter would start by announcing the y
Sep 30, 2009 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The quick synopsis: 5 women meet in a neighborhood park in the late 1960's in Palo Alto, California. It's not too long before they begin meeting weekly (on wednesdays), they watch the Miss America pageant together every year, and soon form a writing society. Over the years they become a loyal, supportive, tell-you-how-it-is, be-there-when-you-fall group of women . . . . friends.

What I love about this book:
*They push (sometimes demand), inspire, and give each other permission to reach for their d
Jan 26, 2013 Pat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Wednesday Sisters recounts a friendship among five women who live in California during a pivotal time in American history. Their common bond is a love of books, which eventually turns them in the direction of becoming writers themselves. I loved the references to books that I also found enthralling. The novel traces their individual challenges that include infidelity, inter-racial marriage, cancer, infertility issues and assorted insecurities. The sense of the women's movement is strongly re ...more
Aug 05, 2012 Aimee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, this was such a great book idea that I couldn't wait to begin reading. This was a selection in my book club, and I'd recommend it to all women's book clubs. It's a great book for discussion, and I have to give it credit.

However, as an enjoyable read, I found it lacking. The characters are a bit stereotyped, and although I love the time period, it didn't truly come alive for me. I think everything just fell a little flat for me--setting, characters, plot, etc. Some of the ideas were
Mar 03, 2009 Erika rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I should have loved this book from cover to cover, I closed it with a "bllptht" sound of frustration. There are so many endearing qualities about the piece: the perspective, the unapologetic behaviors of the characters, the idea of women bonding together amidst adversity. I just wished Clayton had stopped there. Instead, she tries to canvas the late 60s and early 70s historically while packing in EVERY adversity five women could possibly bring to the table in their lifetimes: infidelity, g ...more
I can't honestly give this a rating as I didn't realize it was a chick-lit genre, which I abhor! So consider that as I review....The book is about 5 women who become friends in the late 1960s, around the time of several seminal events in U.S. history (moon landing, Bobby Kennedy assassination, women's lib, segregation, etc) and according to the book jacket, it travels through the years... but I couldn't get past the first few chapters. It was cloyingly told. The author had an annoying habit of f ...more
My book club read The Wednesday Sisters this month. Meg Waite Clayton writes about five women who meet at a park in California during the 1960s. Together, they form a writing group with the intentions of helping each. They find they gather every year to watch the Miss America Pageant, despite the fact that each of them has ambivalent feelings toward the competition. As time passes the women begin to bond together becoming supportive friends.

What made this book remarkable was that how much the a
Sep 27, 2009 Leeann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 08, 2010 Brittania rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Within the first two chapters I was hooked. The world for women in the 1950s and how the story weaves it's way through the real world. This isn't a book about best friends who love each other all the time. This is about real relationships between women I can visulize meeting at Barnes and Noble. I love when I find a book who's characters truly exist somewhere. Where things are sugar-coated and everything doesn't end perfectly with a big, fat bow. This book has real life in every line, real tears ...more
Oct 03, 2009 Alee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Wednesday Sisters meet by chance on a Wednesday morning at a park near their homes in the late 1960s. The women soon discover a shared love of literature, and begin to meet frequently to discuss their favorite works. The friendships that begin that morning carry them through illness, longing, financial burden, infidelity, failure, and success. As their bond strengthens, so do their resolves to try writing themselves. Soon all five of the Wednesday sisters are writing, encouraging and critiqu ...more
Aug 05, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I loved The Wednesday Sisters. I identified with Frankie from page one where she "shows" a group photo of the women describing her self as in a chubbier phase back then and admitting that the skinnier self is actually more of a phase the chubby self. I quickly came to love all of the women, seeing a little of myself or a close friends or family member in each of them. I love that although each of the women keep secrets from one another from at one time or another, the when the time comes to be h ...more
Jul 17, 2010 Sjcapanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This is the story of four mothers in the late 1960s who start a writing group called the Wednesday Sisters. The book follows them through the ups and downs of their writing careers and personal lives, as well as the interesting historical developments of that time period.

I think this book probably arose when the author asked, "What did young mothers do as a creative outlet before mom blogs?" and the answer was, of course, they wrote on old-fashioned paper or bonded in little groups in the park.
Jan 20, 2010 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick read which was nice for me right now. My brain is in overload at times and Pilgrim's Progress is not a book you can read quickly. This was not a book that I would say is a must read. I liked it. The women were real and had real problems but were able to find peace with them. Here is what I thought.

1. Women need each other. Good friends are gold, they get us through the roughest parts of life. I wouldn't be where I am now without my own set of "sisters". They come in all shapes a
Sue Seligman
Sep 21, 2013 Sue Seligman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of contemporary women's fiction
Shelves: reread
I had read this novel the year is was published and although I rated it, I hadn't written a review because I had just joined Goodreads, and I was trying to record as many books as I could remember onto my shelves. I decided to read it again because I wanted to read the recently published sequel The Wednesday Daughters, and even on the second reading, it was just as engrossing and enjoyable as I remembered. The novel is narrated by Frankie O'Mara, and depicts the very special friendship among fiv ...more
Julie Hedlund
This book, the story of five women friends living "conventional" lives while much of the U.S. is engaged in radical debates and history-changing activities, touched me deeply for two specific reasons. The first is that my mother was one of those women. My brother was born in 1967, me in 1971. I always used to press her on how she never ended up caught up in the "free love/hippie/women's & civil rights movements." She always said something to the effect of, "Well I was already married and had ...more
This will be a mixed review. I was hoping it would be a chronicle of life in what is now called Silicon Valley (don't get me started on that!) in the 60's-70's. I was there from '59 to'95 so i know it pretty well. It is hard to believe that the writer had a broad experience there. Furthermore, it doesn't appear to be a special interest of hers. It is sort of like a backdrop which, in retrospect, may have appeal. But I found her experience limited. The husbands of these five women probably had a ...more
Nov 12, 2009 Louise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-s-fiction
Not a bad read, not glowingly great either but it filled a few hours and I was able to finish it.

From back cover:

"When five young mothers-Frankie, Linda, Kath, Ally, and Brett-first meet in a neighborhood park in the late 1960's, their conversations center on marriage, raising children, and a shared love of books. Then one evening, as they gather to watch the Miss America Pageant, Linda admits that she aspires to write a novel herself, and the Wednesday Sisters Writing Society is born. The five
Oct 31, 2010 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the surface, this book may seem trite - how many other stories of women's friendship are out there, right? But the 5 ladies who become writing partners and friends in this novel stand out to me! Perhaps it's the pregnancy hormones, but I cried when the book ended.... I wanted to learn more about their lives.

I like that the book is set in late-60s/early-70s Bay Area (Palo Alto to be exact, but I had to look that up on a map since I didn't know where it was). The author does a fine job of weav
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Book club favorite Meg Waite Clayton is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of THE RACE FOR PARIS --recommended reading by Glamour Magazine and the BBC, and an Indie Next pick for September 2015 -- and THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS, one of Entertainment Weekly's "25 Essential Best Friend Novels" of all time. Her THE LANGUAGE OF LIGHT was a finalist for the Bellwether Prize (now PEN/Bellwethe ...more
More about Meg Waite Clayton...

Other Books in the Series

Wednesday (2 books)
  • The Wednesday Daughters

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“we could hurt each other even when we weren't trying to, and that none of us was as perfect as we liked to pretend.” 18 likes
“Linda asked that morning what it was about Charlotte’s Web that Ally particularly liked; maybe it would help to think about that, since it was Ally’s model book.
“I like the family that comes together in the barn,” Ally said without hesitation. “I like that they aren’t all the same thing; one is human and one’s a spider and one’s a pig. I like that it has nothing to do with blood relations, and everything to do with love.”
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